In a recording made on March 24, 1972 and first broadcast on July 31st of that year, Charles Amirkhanian interviews composer Elie Siegmeister and his wife Hannah, while also playing a wide assortment of his music. Known for his interest in American music and the plight of the working class, Siegmeister has written art songs, operas, musicals, and film scores, as well as a wide variety of orchestral and chamber works. In this delightful interview Siegmeister disputes Amirkhanian’s attempt to divide his career into an early Americana phase and a later period dedicated to more experimental abstract music, saying that while certain works may emphasize one aspect more than the other both themes are generally present in all his music. An active composer since at least the 1930s Siegmeister knew many of the great American composers of his time and provides entertaining stories about many of them in this program. Not necessarily a modest man, Siegmeister states that he would be happy if most people spent 12 hours a day listening to his music, and with this program you can get started on fulfilling his wishes.
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